A super quick and healthy Indian-style curry with calamari (squid) rings, burst tiny tomatoes and lots of fresh Indian flavor, served with a coconut rice with warm Indian spices…Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice – dinner in 30 minutes or less!
No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.
~~ Laurie Colwin
I relax in my kitchen. I laugh in my kitchen (usually with my sons). I create in my kitchen. The kitchen is my place to BE. 🙂 Over the years, friends have found it odd that I view that space in such a positive way. Whenever I travel, I am always happy to return to my own kitchen. This week, I returned from a trip to San Antonio with my husband, and without our youngest son. He is beginning his program at the Culinary Institute of America in just a couple of weeks. This is a bittersweet time as we are once again empty-nesters. At any rate, after several nights away, I was happy to be back in my kitchen, and anxious to get to work finalizing this week’s post…
Our family loves calamari, and I have been “playing” with Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice for awhile. Indian curries can be quite messy and time-consuming, but I wanted a dish that was simple and quick enough for a weeknight. Fish/seafood seem to be a natural choice when time is a factor, and calamari is one of the quickest cooking. In fact, diligence is required when cooking calamari unless you like the taste and texture of an old boot! 😉 Once the calamari rings are added to the curry, you want it off the heat in 1-2 minutes.
This simple curry starts off much like the more complicated ones I make – fresh garlic, ginger, onion, black mustard seeds. My short cut is a red curry powder. This is a spice blend with a mixture of cumin, coriander, cardamom, and red chile. Normally, I toast and grind whole spices for curry, but this is a flavorful substitute for weeknight cooking. Keep in mind, though, that it adds heat. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you might wish to cut it back a bit. The calamari gets a 30 minutes soak in the zest and juice of a lemon, and a couple of teaspoons of red curry powder. It is added to the wok (or skillet) during the last minute or two of cooking.
I paired my Calamari Curry with a dreamy Coconut Rice. The heat of the curry is balanced by the creamy taste and texture of the rice. The dish is garnished with toasted, unsweetened shaved coconut and chopped cilantro. We like an off-dry fruity white wine with spicy food, such as a gewurtztraminer or riesling. While Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice makes a great weeknight supper, it is exotic enough to impress company. Go ahead… be brave! Give it a try 🙂
Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp. red curry powder (see notes)
- 1 lb. calamari rings or cut in strips (marinate in curry and lemon)
- 2 tsp. coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger minced
- 1 tsp. garlic minced
- 2 shallots minced (or 1/2 red onion)
- 2 tsp. black mustard seeds
- 1 pint Cherub tomatoes or similar
- sea salt and ground pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger minced
- 1 tsp. garlic minced
- 2 cups liquid I do half lite coconut milk and half broth*
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
- unsweetened toasted coconut - garnish
- cilantro leaves - garnish
In a medium prep bowl, add the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Add the red curry powder (see note). Stir to combine. Add calamari. Stir again. Marinate 20-30 minutes. Start the Coconut Rice.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or skillet. Add ginger, garlic, and onion. Cook until shallots or onion are soft but not browned - about 2-3 minutes.
Add black mustard seeds and tiny tomatoes. Stir. Cook until the seeds begin to pop and the tomatoes burst.
Add the calamari in its marinade. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the calamari turns white. Overcooking makes it tough!
Serve with coconut rice and garnish with cilantro.
In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil until sizzling but not smoking hot. Add rice. Stir to coat, and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
Add ginger and garlic. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
Add liquids, spices, and salt. Cover and reduce heat. Do not lift the lid.
Cook 19 minutes. Turn the heat off.
Just prior to serving, stir in the chopped cilantro.
To serve sprinkle with coconut and additional cilantro leaves.
I do half lite coconut milk and half chicken or vegetable broth. Most jasmine and basmati rice packages do a 1:2 ratio of rice to liquid. You should check your package. If you want to shave a few calories, you can reduce the amount of coconut milk.
I specify 1/2 tsp. salt, but you always want to check for seasoning. My husband watches his sodium intake, so we tend to be conservative with the salt.
This is a great side dish with tandoori style grilled chicken, kabobs, etc.
This is NOT a fluffy rice dish...
Macronutrients (estimate from MyFitnessPal): 397 calories; 23 g protein; 33 g carbohydrates; 21 g fat. Estimate only!
Laurie Colwin, author of Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen and More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen, expresses her passion for celebrating life around the table in these two non-fiction books. I would venture to guess she and I would have been kindred spirits… I plan to add both to my reading list!